Thursday, June 3, 2010

A new location . . .

Trying it out. I just miss blogging so much . . . I need to find a way to make it work for me.

Maybe this is it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

In a Word


There is just no place on earth like Disney World. As we settle back into our normal life after a second absolutely wonderful trip to Disney World, I cannot help but think that over and over. There is just no place like Disney World.

We had a great time. Beautiful, spring-like central Florida weather (about mid-80s), not one single drop of rain. Fantastic resort that we will now go to each and every future visit to the House of Mouse. Totally manageable crowd size. And two lovely little girls that ate up every single ounce of what Disney World had to offer them. And two parents (and a few grandparents) along to soak it all in.

Look at this here -- Kate is not even on the ground, she's so excited to meet Mickey!

I've posted a TON of pictures on our photo web site --
and I've narrated them with captions so that you can read along and follow our trip from beginning to end. It's easier than posting a long blog here . . . and it's more fun with the pictures. Enjoy. (It's, like, 400 pictures -- so only enjoy as much as you can tolerate before you've had enough of Dahlby Disney!)

Jim mentioned that his company is already considering having their next conference in Orlando . . . so that means I can look forward to our next trip in Oct 2011. I'll be there, 100%. I already cannot wait to go back to Disney World.

Disney World 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010


I feel too connected to the world . . . and it's starting to bug me.

This blog has been a great outlet for me. But I'm reminded time and time again that anything you read here can be construed and changed and misinterpreted. I hate that. I like the blog, I love writing it . . . but I don't like some of the ramifications that it is causing. I've learned that there is such a thing as TOO connected. Too bad.

So I'm going to an 'invite only' blog. I felt I should let you know . . . shouldn't just disappear without a goodbye.

If you know how to contact me about being 'invited' to continue reading . . . please feel free. For the rest of you, thanks for your support the last few years. The good, the bad, the ugly . . . I've felt you all out there enjoying my stories. Goodbye . . . and thanks.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Can we talk about Kate?

I mean, really. I don't talk about her enough on the blog, do I?

So let's talk about her.

Kate, at 21 months, is the messiest little booger I could ever have imagined. The kid is just so messy . . . at meal times, when she plays . . . she just leaves a path behind her wherever she's been. Now I know the kind of kid that inspired Charles Schultz to create the character 'Pigpen'.

She talks more than any kid I could imagine. She started young, and she has not stopped. And the thing is . . . it's very clear speech. Most others around us can easily understand what Kate says when something is on her mind. She started to really use words earlier waaaay earlier than Meg did. Before 18 months, you could ask her a question and trust her answers were correct. She wasn't just repeating speech or identifying objects . . . she was giving opinions and making decisions using her language skills. She amazes me daily with the things she says. And now that she has started to put several words together . . . well, watch out. Between Meg (my chatterbox) and Kate, I may not get a word in edgewise for the next 18-20 years.

She is prettier than any child I could imagine. Oh, my pretty little Kate. That button nose and those sweet curls. Blue eyes and rosy lips. I know she's mine, but I do think she is one of the prettiest little kids I've ever seen. I hate to see her growing up and losing some of her baby-ness . . . what a darling little baby she has been. So tiny and precious, my little Kate.

Kate is one of the smartest little toddlers I could imagine. I've already mentioned her ability to use language -- but it's more than that. She's helpful around our house, looking up to a big sister who also does her fair share of helping out. Kate figures things out pretty easily -- things like how to distract Meg from a toy SHE really wants to play with, or how to open a box full of something I don't want her to spill all over the place. She is starting to count, she's got most of her colors and shapes down, and she is starting to figure out the potty thing more and more. She's also smart enough to outsmart ME. Like the potty thing -- I'm pretty sure she could do it, but she's figured out that she is in total control of the situation. So, when SHE is ready, we will work on getting her toilet trained. Her smart mommy has learned that Kate has a mind of her own, and she will let me know when the time is right.

Without a doubt, Kate is more spirited that I could have ever imagined. She's quite stubborn at times. She dances and sings with the best of them ('If You're Happy and You Know It' being my favorite these days). She's got a smile that will melt your heart, and she knows how to use it. She has started having small melt-down like tantrums at times, showing off that spirit she's got inside. She spunky, that is for sure. Kate is my little ball of fire.

She is more opinionated that I could have imagined a nearly-two-yr-old could be. Since she learned how to use the word "No" at about 15 months, Kate has begun to stamp her approval/disapproval on things going on at our house with a vengeance. She has tons of opinions . . . especially for someone her age. I think some of that comes from having a big sister. She watched Meg make choices all day long . . . which plate at meal times, which shoes as we get ready to go somewhere, what program we are going to enjoy at TV time . . . and now that she realizes how cool it is to get to choose things, Kate always has something to say about what is going on at our house. Please -- I welcome your pity. I have to wrestle daily -- no hourly -- with the opinions of a one year old and a three year old. I didn't know I'd encounter this part of parenting so soon!

Even with all her spunk, Kate is about the most easy going kid I could imagine. Again -- it's a trait that has been with her since birth. At 7 weeks, she was sleeping 7-8 hrs at night, and I called the pediatrician to see if that was even acceptable at such a young age. She nursed really fast, she took naps with ease . . . Kate was such a cinch as a baby. People said, "Oh, just wait! She will come in to her own sooner or later!" and I guess she has. But -- I kid you not -- she is still as easy as pie. (What does that mean, anyway? 'Pie' is easy?) As a matter of fact, I take for granted how easy Kate is to get along with. When she is tired or whiney, I find my fuse a little short with her. Silly, I know -- to not let her get away with having a bad day. But Kate is not my grumpy kid -- so when she is, I know something must be wrong.

Kate is also very snuggly, which I didn't imagine was possible for a kid at her age. Toddlers usually won't sit still for long -- and Kate is certainly a non-stop toddler -- but when she is ready to settle in, she's only happy when sitting in my lap. Which I adore. The quote around here is, "Mommy. Couch." (pronounced Chow-ch) It means, "Mommy, please stop what you are doing and come sit with me on the couch." When I am able to oblige, I sit on the couch and Kate crawls right up under my right arm. She'll scooch her butt until she is comfy, then she puts her fingers in her mouth and brings her lovey to her face, right under her nose. Pure sweetness. I've been known to doze through an entire episode of Dora with Kate cradled in her spot, her tiny little body keeping me warm and safe and snug. I love my snuggly little girl.

Kate is more athletic than I could have imagined for a kid that came out of me. Let's face it . . . an athlete I am not. And I never would have guessed I'd have a kid that would be. But Kate . . . she walked early, loves to throw a ball around, and can climb just about anything faster than you can stop her. I decided to enroll us in the tot gymnastics class we now attend on Tuesdays in an effort to get her to use and fine tune those abundance of gross motor skills she seems to have. And from day one, the teacher has commented on her 'natural ability' in the gym. She hangs from the bars, she bends in half, she log rolls . . . Kate is certainly my athletic child.

All in all, I never imagined I'd be lucky enough to have a daughter like Kate. (And Meg too, of course -- but this blog is about little sister.) And now that she has been in our lives for nearly 2 years, I can't imagine things without her. I might not talk about her always, but she is always here and loved and adored by all.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Favorite Photo Friday

You knew it was coming . . . .

Megan Elizabeth, February 2009 (age 2.5), Disney World

Kate Allison, February 2009 (age 0.5), Disney World

Oh yeah, BABY. Disney World 2010 is just EIGHT days away! How could I resist sharing some favs from our wonderful trip in 2009?

Monday, April 26, 2010

And Then She Was Married

The wedding went off without a hitch. And yes, it rained. It rained and it rained and it rained, all day long.

But Julie was the coolest bride, and she didn't let the rain ruin her day.

And my girls were the most precious flower girls ever to be seen. Really, they were THAT cute.

And Jim and I didn't look too shabby ourselves :)

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend. Congratulations to Aunt JuJu and -- now officially -- Uncle Greg. Have a fantastic honeymoon in the Phi Phi Islands!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wedding Week

Only have a minute to write . . . it's officially 'Wedding Week' at our house, and things are crazy. I mean that 100% -- it is pretty nuts around here. People coming and going, errands here and there, remember this and never mind about that . . . if you've been through a wedding, you know how it goes.

For me, it's the one and only time that I'll ever experience the wedding of a sibling. Or as close as I'll ever get, anyway, being the only child that I am. It's a very unique experience -- sitting back and watching your little sister (in law) standing in the spotlight on her day of all days. And helping her as much as you can all along the way . . . wishing you could do more, hoping that the same pitfalls you encountered don't upset her day. I might have complained about things during the planning, but now that it's here . . . well, all of those minor issues have been forgotten. I can't wait to see Julie all dressed up in her gown, ready to go. It's going to make me cry! Shoot -- I finished up the rehearsal dinner picture slide show last weekend, and I was already crying just from the photos . . . I can't imagine how I'll be on Saturday evening.

The girls -- Meg and Kate -- are hanging in there. And by that I mean they are having a blast and loving the commotion -- but they are just teetering on the edge of exhaustion. And ti's only TUESDAY. Bedtimes have gone by the wayside, so I am doing all I can to make sure the girls get sleep whenever they can this week. Cross your fingers that these girls of mine will hang in there a few more days and keep their cool as we move from the planning part of the week into the actual festivities. It all begins here at our house Thursday night!

I've done lots of ironing, packing, organizing, ordering, re-ordering, shopping, returning, observing, and preparing over the last few days. And I'm just a bridesmaid, SIL of the bride. Jim's mom and Julie have been going nonstop for about 4 days, and I know they are reaching their 'breaking point', if you will. Not that they are on the verge of losing it or anything -- but I'm sure after 4 days of all the little details, they are ready to start saying, "I don't care" or "Whatever YOU think" a whole lot more. I know that's how I felt as my day drew close . . . I cared less and less about the little things and was just so excited to BE at the wedding. Julie has got to be getting to that stage, I'm sure.

Anyway, wedding week is upon us, so I must pull myself away from the computer here and get to finishing the decorations on Meg's flower girl basket. I made the executive decision that Meg would be the only flower girl to actually carry a basket in the ceremony -- one of those tiny details Julie probably could care less about. By not giving Kate her own basket, I am eliminating one more thing I would have to keep up with all afternoon on Saturday. I love that Kate is a flower girl in this wedding, but the little dear is only 22 months old . . . so I know her sweet basket would be left here and there, and I'd be saying, "Where is Kate's basket???" from the time she was dressed until we all settle in at the reception. Kate can go basket-less . . . and how cute it will be to see her reaching her chubby little hand into her big sister's basket to pull out some petals. So cute.

Happy Wedding Week to me and to all the family out there reading this as they throw their gear in a bag and get ready to head this way for the big event.

And keep your fingers crossed for Julie and her lovely, garden, outdoor wedding . . . the forecast for Saturday is rain.